Images and Privacy


I love tools like Flickr where you can upload photos in one shot for your family and friends to see. What does bother me is having the images there for everyone to see. Let’s face it as people can behave appallingly.  Your image can be saved and used for purposes that you did not intend. This is not new phenomena as stories have surfaced about unauthorized use of images. But what about little kids? I thinks Alexandra Samuel of Vancouver has the right idea by password protecting a personal blog with photos of her children. And it sounds like her Facebook account is private so only a small number of people can see pictures there, too. I thought about this whole issue as there was a good article in the Globe and Mail about it. Samuel also used code names, not identifying her kids on the Internet. A good practice. Others say to not add place or location as well.

I have gone one step further and deleted images from Flickr after a reasonable viewing time. I am not doing anything embarassing or illegal, but I just hate the idea of my vacation pictures out there to be manipulated. Am I being unnecessarily paranoid? On the matter of young kids it is great to share pictures, but innocent images are not so innocent in the hands of pedophiles and pornographers.

– Brenda


One Response to “Images and Privacy”

  1. Brenda, I’m so glad to see this tackled on a library blog — it seems like JUST the kind of thing where folks need the guidance of librarians.

    In terms of how we keep our kids private, I actually don’t have a private Facebook account; I have a list of friends within my Facebook account that I created under “Account/Edit Friends”. That is a list of about 20 people who are very close friends and family members. Most of the time anyone who is a Facebook friend can see anything I post, but if I post a picture or video of the kids, I edit the settings on the photo or video so it is only visible to the 20 people on my “kid sharing friends” list.

    I also upload videos and photos to Flickr and YouTube but I set Flickr to default to make all photos private so the kids’ pics are always private, and then I change the settings of non-kid photos to be publicly viewable. On YouTube as soon as I upload a kid video I set it to be private and only share the URL with a handful of trusted friends.

    My feeling is that most people I know don’t have any relationship with my kids, so what’s the point in posting stuff about them? I only share info about the kids with people who are specifically interested in them, and who I know well.

    Glad to hear my approach met with the seal of approval!

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